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  #1  
Old 04-24-2009, 05:57 PM
philipem philipem is offline
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Chicago Lyric 25 or 6 to 4 Proven Drug Reference

I can't believe I'm the only one with this exact reference. This is beyond all question a reference to LSD.

Consider this line..
“Should I try to do some more 25 or 6 to 4?”
Read it as “Should I try to drop some more acid?”

Here is my proof:

In the movie Captain Newman, MD (1963), Gregory Peck injects a patient with a drug, and there is close up of the bottle. The label says "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, 25 or 6 to 4" I have seen this scene at least three times.

It is not totally clear what the term means. 25 is easy to explain:
The term LSD comes from the initials of the German for lysergic acid diethylamide, or Lysersäure Diethylamid. The number "25" following it has many myths attached to it, such as it was the 25th form of LSD that Hofmann tried, or it was his 25th attempt to make LSD. From my own experience with chemical companies that are allied with pharmaceutical houses, I had assumed that the chemical name (which might be a mouthful for the pharmacologist) was simply replaced with a pronounceable code number equivalent. But the answer here is yet simpler. Hofmann, in his LSD, My Problem Child wrote: "In 1938, I produced the twenty fifth substance in a series of lysergic acid derivatives: lysergic acid diethylamide, abbreviated LSD-25 ... for laboratory usage."

But then at the same document we find a possible clue:

"Within a few years of the discovery of the extraordinary potency of LSD, a large number of close analogues were synthesized by Hofmann and his allies at Sandoz. Over the following decade many were tested in humans, both in patients and healthy subjects, with the qualitative descriptions and dosages published in the medical literature."

http://www.erowid.org/library/books_...tihkal26.shtml

I think this was such an experimental drug at the time of the movie that the term may actually refer to a dosage, see this:

Delysid (LSD 25) D-lysergic acid diethylamide tartrate ....
INDICATIONS AND DOSAGE

a) Analytical psychotherapy, ...The initial dose is 25 µg ... This dose is increased at each treatment ...
b) ... In normal subjects, doses of 25 to 75 µg re generally sufficient to produce a hallucinatory psychosis (on an average 1 µg/kg body weight). In certain forms of psychosis and in chronic alcoholism, higher doses are necessary (2 to 4 µg/kg body weight)
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2009, 06:48 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Just so you know, it's helpful to provide a link to the original column so that others can follow along.

What does the Chicago lyric "25 or 6 to 4" mean?

It would be surprising that anyone in Chicago would still be putting out false stories about the lyrics 30 years after the fact. Nobody today would care if a 60s song had a drug reference in it.

But you're certainly not the first to suggest that the song is about drugs or about LSD is particular. Putting "25 or 6 to 4" LSD into Google returns 1410 hits.

The problem with the rest of your post is that I can't find a single reference to LSD in Captain Newman, M.D. And the notion of someone using a needle to inject a person with LSD is even odder. LSD doses come in micrograms. It's not impossible to inject LSD but that's a weirdly non-standard method.

So proven is a word I wouldn't allow anywhere near this conjecture.
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2009, 07:53 PM
dropzone dropzone is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipem View Post
In the movie Captain Newman, MD (1963), Gregory Peck injects a patient with a drug, and there is close up of the bottle. The label says "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, 25 or 6 to 4" I have seen this scene at least three times.

....

b) ... In normal subjects, doses of 25 to 75 µg re generally sufficient to produce a hallucinatory psychosis (on an average 1 µg/kg body weight). In certain forms of psychosis and in chronic alcoholism, higher doses are necessary (2 to 4 µg/kg body weight)
But why would a bottle of medicine have a gibberish dosage like "25 or 6 to 4?"
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  #4  
Old 04-25-2009, 01:52 AM
Blank Slate Blank Slate is online now
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This is the only scene in which Peck's character injects anyone. As you can see, there is no close-up of the bottle.

Man, Robert Duvall looked almost young in that movie.
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2009, 09:58 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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And the injection is of sodium pentothal or "flak-juice" as they call it in the novel. It's a critical and famous scene. (Thanks for the link though because I didn't remember it until seeing jogged my memory. In my defense it's been a long time since I read the book or saw the movie.) There is no possibility of them substituting LSD instead, something that would be guaranteed not to give the same effect.
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2009, 11:23 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is online now
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Interesting. It'really nice that the internet allows such immediate power for debunking of mis-perceptions or mis-rememberings (I'm being charitable here) and quick clarification. Thanks, Blank Slate, for being so quick and conclusive.
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2009, 02:42 PM
Blank Slate Blank Slate is online now
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You're very welcome.

I was a little disappointed, though. I was looking forward to watching Gregory Peck inject a patient with LSD. I wound up watching the whole movie on Youtube, in 14 segments. I wondered about the legality of it, but it's been up for awhile and the studios are vigilant these days.
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2009, 02:40 PM
dujo dujo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
And the injection is of sodium pentothal or "flak-juice" as they call it in the novel. It's a critical and famous scene. (Thanks for the link though because I didn't remember it until seeing jogged my memory. In my defense it's been a long time since I read the book or saw the movie.) There is no possibility of them substituting LSD instead, something that would be guaranteed not to give the same effect.
I don't mean to defend this notion since I think it's been well debunked here but I saw a Biography show on Whitey Bulger the other night and in it a guy said that Bulger had gotten early release from prison for participating in an LSD study whose purpose was to test it as a "truth serum".

Now this was an assertion by a third party 40+ years later (IIRC this would have been 1965) so I give it no credence but I wonder whether A. the military or CIA did test LSD for this purpose and B. if not, when did the legend that they did so gain currency? If the legend were contemporary it wouldn't be impossible that a writer might make that change although clearly they didn't in this case.

Funny post though; I was ready to accept that LSD might have figured in a movie of the period but why in heck the bottle would read "25 or 6 to 4" wasn't really explained at all.
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2009, 05:35 AM
Baldwin Baldwin is offline
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Think the OP will ever add to his one and only post?

Great work, guys. (And now I think I'll order Captain Newman, MD from Netflix.)
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2009, 04:26 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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They were testing it as an alternate approach to the idea of truth serum. It didn't work.
__________________
John W. Kennedy
"The blind rulers of Logres
Nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue."
-- Charles Williams. Taliessin through Logres: Prelude
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  #11  
Old 07-23-2011, 11:04 PM
spookeebitch spookeebitch is offline
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Finally!!!!!!!

YES- YES, u are rite!! I knew this from an OLD issue of high times and every single damn thing i typed in came up w Chicago saying it was a time reference. FINALLY- i can prove 2 my friends that its an acid reference!! Thank u!!!
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  #12  
Old 07-23-2011, 11:31 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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...and the fight continues
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2011, 11:37 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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OK. And the explanation given by Bobby Lamm, the composer of 25 or 6 to 4, means nothing to you at all?

ETA - You're right, Nemo, it's taking longer than we thought.
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  #14  
Old 07-24-2011, 07:33 AM
Sparky812 Sparky812 is offline
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OMG too funny, the SD propagating ignorance through google searches and selective reading!

Last edited by Sparky812; 07-24-2011 at 07:34 AM..
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  #15  
Old 07-24-2011, 08:48 AM
Cheshire Human Cheshire Human is offline
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Why is it that the people who are torturing lyrics to find drug references in things that have an obvious and mundane meaning always spell and capitalize like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by spookeebitch View Post
YES- YES, u are rite!! I knew this from an OLD issue of high times and every single damn thing i typed in came up w Chicago saying it was a time reference. FINALLY- i can prove 2 my friends that its an acid reference!! Thank u!!!




Oh, I almost forgot, BRAAAAINNNNS!
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  #16  
Old 07-24-2011, 07:02 PM
dropzone dropzone is online now
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I blame the modern preponderance of digital clocks, especially those tied to the atomic clock in Denver. In the analog days we weren't nearly so precise. After all, does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?
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  #17  
Old 07-24-2011, 10:54 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Never mind 25 or 6 to 4. Who has the answers to Questions 67 & 68?
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  #18  
Old 07-25-2011, 07:45 PM
kunilou kunilou is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
Never mind 25 or 6 to 4. Who has the answers to Questions 67 & 68?
Please don't tell me. It really doesn't matter anyhow.
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